Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jewish and Christian "Hijab" II

PART TWO- CHRISTIAN HIJAB
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم

I am writing this post (part two of two parts) to illustrate WHAT was revealed to the Jewish and Christian women in terms of hijab, so that we as Muslims can better understand what things we were commanded to do in addition to differentiate ourselves from the practices of the Jews (which the Qu'ran states incurred Allah subhahu wa ta'ala's wrath) and the Christians (who went astray), صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين . Muslims and so-called Muslim scholars need to understand, that just because the majority of Christians and Jews have stopped wearing the hijab THEY are compelled to put on by THEIR deen, doesn't mean that Muslims can leave off the clear recomendations for our hijab in the Qu'ran , many of which the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam explained in various ahadith were for modesty, and to clearly differentiate ourselves from the practices of the Jews and the Christians, which were altered to suit mankind's whims in their histories. Ours are not to be. There are many documents of survivng dress that document what Jewish and Christian women wore throughout history, and some surviving practioners of their hijabs. This post is about the fard requirements of Jewish and Christian hijab. InshaAllah you will find it interesting.
Is Covering the Hair a Religious Commandment for Christian Women?
There can be only one answer to this: yes, it is! The custom of wearing the veil was maintained in the primitive Churches of God. (1Cor.11:16). We see this in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The women of Corinth beset by modern sensibilities, started coming to church without their heads covered. When Paul heard of their neglect, he wrote and urged them to keep the veil. According to Jerome’s commentary Bible, he finally settled the matter by saying head covering was a custom of the primitive communities of Judea, "the Churches of God" (1 Thess.2-14, 2Thess.1-4), which had received this Tradition from early times (2 Thess. 2:15. 3:6). Simply open the Bible to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 11. Read verses 3-10.
(Corintians, Chapter 11:3-10): "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven. For if a woman is not covered, let her be shaven. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. A man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man. For man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority over her head, because of the angels."

The meaning of this passage is plain enough. We can make the following syllogisms:
Syllogism 1
Praying with an uncovered head is a disgrace
Having a shaved head is the same as praying with an uncovered head
Therefore, having a shaved head is a disgrace
Syllogism 2
If it is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head, she should cover her head
It is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head - see syllogism 1
Therefore, a woman should cover her head
In other words, the passage means what it says. Have you ever wondered why Catholic nuns dress like they're wearing hijab (Muslim hijabi women, have you ever been mistaken for a nun? I have, more than once). Have you ever wondered why Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them both) is always depicted in Christian art with her hair covered? Did you know that until the 1960s, it was obligatory for Catholic women to cover their heads in church (then they "modernized" the service)?
There are some interesting points that can be made about the Christian directive.
1) The explicit purpose of the Christian woman's headcovering, as stated by Paul, is that it is a sign of man's authority over woman. The explicit purpose of Islamic and Judaic hijab is modesty. Strange how so many Westerners think that the purpose of hijab is a symbol of male authority. Maybe they know that that's what it is in their own religion (Christianity) so they assume that Islam must be the same...!

2) The Christian woman is to cover her head whenever she is praying, whether it be at the church service or just personal prayer at home. This may mean that if she is not praying at home, she is uncovered around male guests who are not related to her; or if she is praying at home, that she is covered around her own husband and family. If any more proof were needed than Paul's own words that the Christian headcovering is not about modesty, this must certainly be it!

This puts hijab in a whole new perspective, doesn't it! To my non-hijabi Muslim sister who feels that hijab is a sign of oppression for the Muslim female, please do read the above and then read the Q'uran. Believe me, if Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala meant for hijab to be a sign of male authority, the Q'uran would be as unambiguous about it as Paul is in the Bible. Isn't this difference the kind of thing that attracted you to Islam in the first place?
Some Christians will argue that the context of covering is a spiritual one (as Oum Amir tried to in the previous post on Jewish hijab) but that is negated by statements from Paul and ayahs (verses) from Titus. We should "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things" (Titus 2:10). Christians sometimes hear that verse misinterpreted as meaning that they are to adorn themselves with the doctrine of God. Adorn means "to decorate; to deck or ornament; to set off to advantage" (Webster's Dictionary). It is "the doctrine of God our Saviour" that is to be adorned (decorated or decked), not ones self. Christians are to adorn "the doctrine of God our Saviour" with "good works" (Titus 2:7), and holiness (I Peter 1:15 and II Peter 3:11) in all things:

I (Peter 1:15-16) says: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

II(Peter 3:11) says: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness[?]

Being "holy in all manner of conversation" includes what one says, what ones does, AND how one looks because appearence is the first of all communications! In Christianity each person should serve faithfully in the role that God has assigned. Men should be men, women should be women, Jesus' congregations should be Jesus' kind of congregations (as Muslims are not to resemble the non-muslims). Men should look like men, women should look like women, Christians should look like Christians "as unto the Lord." Ironically, during the crusades, Christian clothing and nun's habits were evolved to look more like a Muslim woman's, as they adopted our way of wearing the khimar, so that it covers the chest, though Christian women were only comanded to cover the hair.
Scripture sacred to the Christians presents several reasons for wearing the veil. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11: 1-16) that Christian women must cover their heads because it is a Sacred Tradition commanded by God Himself and entrusted to Paul: "The things I am writing to you are the Lord’s commandments" (1Cor. 14:37).
Christian women also were told to be ready with their bridal veils, waiting for the return of the Messiah and the promised wedding (Apoc.22:17), following the example of Mary/Meryem, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled.
Some Christians argue that hair is a woman's veil because Paul says in Corinthians: ...Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering... that a woman's hair is to be her veil, and that this verse simply prohibits a woman from cutting her hair and states that she must grow it out long. Note: any Christians who do not believe in wearing the veil, must thus believe that cutting the hair any shorter than the shoulder blades is prohibited or else they completely reject their scripture rather than plainly misinterpret it which I feel is the case, backed up by early Christian art, or Roman art portraying "Christian" dress---the dress of the followers of Isa alahi wa salaam. Paul is not prohibiting hair styles here. To focus on hair styles is to miss the point. Paul is simply asking a few rhetorical questions based on popular culture. In most cultures women have longer hair then men, and when they do, it usually looks better. He's saying that when a woman has long hair it usually looks beautiful, and when a man has long hair (which something associated in scriptures with the Nazarenes), it usually looks a little odd. In some cultures, long hair is considered a sign of femininity. So if a man has long hair, it looks feminine in those cultures, and that is "degrading" to him. What Paul is doing here is he's appealing to nature. He's saying; "Look, even mother nature teaches us the same lesson. She gives women long hair as a covering and it looks good and proper on them." Then he concludes with this interesting verse... ...If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God. Some Bible versions have mistranslated this verse to say "we recognize no such practice, nor do the churches of God." This mistranslation is often used to negate the previous first half of the chapter. In other words, those who abuse such mistranslations say that Paul spent half a chapter, explaining a deep theological principle pertaining to a custom he applauds the Corinthians for keeping, only to say in this last verse that they really don't need to keep it. Such interpretations are silliness. The proper translation is rendered here as "we recognize no other practice." Here Paul is telling the Corinthians not to get too contentious over the chapel veil custom, because he's not going to burden them with anything else beyond that. He's not going to tell men and women how to dress. He's not going to tell them what kind of a veil they should wear, or how they should wear it like Pharises did---this Isa alahi wa salaam railed against! He's simply saying that this is the custom as it is practiced in the "churches of God" and they recognize no other practice beyond this. That a woman has to cover her hair, especially for prayer. He says it is a shame for a woman to be shaved bald (because it was a cultural statement that shaved women were shamed and women with long hair beautiful), and the woman that does not veil her hair, should be shaved bald (he is not commanding this but using another example from popular culture where women were shaved bald to be publically humiliated for indecent and immoral behaviour), i.e. he is saying it should be seen by the Christian women, that not veiling the hair is as much a shame as being bald so they should continue the practice of covering/veiling their hair.
HOW DO WE KNOW THAT HAIR ITSELF IS NOT THE COVERING?
As Muslims well know with translations of the Qu'ran, translations are a tricky lot, and with English versions of the Bible, we are dealing with a translation or a translation of a translation of what might have been something similiar to what came after Isa alahi wa salaam. Corinthians 11:6,7 used the word "veil". This is the only place in the New Testament that this Greek word is used. Therefore it is important that we don’t lean too heavily on one person’s definition for the word. There are four different Greek words used here in 1 Corinthians 11 in referring to covering the head. In addition there are a number of other Greek words used throughout the New Testament that mean to cover or to veil. The four Greek words used in this passage are:

1. Covered (verse 4) – #2596 κατά kata
2. Covered ( verses 6,7) – #2619 κατακαλύπτω katakaluptō
3. Covering (verse 15) – #4018 περιβόλαιον peribolaion
4. Uncovered (verses 5,13)– #177 ακατακάλυπτος akatakaluptos
It is important to note that in commanding a woman to cover her head, the verse did not use one of two other Greek words that are used in the New Testament that clearly mean to cover the face.
Cover - #4028 περικαλύπτω perikaluptō to cover all around, that is, entirely (the face, a surface): - blindfold, cover, overlay. Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries. This Greek word is used in Mark 14:65 “And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.”
Veil - #2571 κάλυμα kaluma a cover, that is, veil: - vail. Strong's Greek Dictionary. This word is used in 2 Corinthians 3:13 “And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:”
If God would have intended Christian women to cover their face, He would have made it clear by using one of these other words. It WAS a Jewish practice for married Jewish women of a certain social status to fully veil themselves, but not a Biblicial or Judaic commandment for women of either peoples. Another indicator (from this history and archeology student's veiw) that God is not (nor was Paul) requiring women to cover their face is that pictures of the early church show women with veils that do not cover the face.
For the very misguided Christian opinion that "Long hair is the covering": This comes from two things: a misinterpretation of verses 13-15, and an erroneous footnote in the New International Version. Verse fifteen does not say that long hair is given for a covering; it says that her hair (long or not) is given to her for a covering and because of that, long hair is a glory to her. Read that again. The bigger a woman's covering, the more glorious it is for her!

Verses 13-15 support verses 5-6, which say that a woman whose head is uncovered is as good as shaven, and that her hair should be "shorn" (verse 6) if she will not wear a covering. And since her hair should be long and not cropped very short, she should also be covered. God's design is for a woman to have two coverings: long hair, and a covering over her natural covering of hair. If she refuses to wear the outer covering, she should have both taken away ("If a woman be not covered, let her also be shorn").

A careful reading of the passage shows that hair is not the issue. Suppose we change the passage to talk about hair instead of a covering:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having hair on his head, dishonoreth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth without hair on her head dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven [had no hair]. 6 For if the woman have not hair, let her hair be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her have hair. 7 For a man indeed ought not to have hair on his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. How ridiculous! How do you shear the hair off a woman who has none? How could a woman have hair when praying or prophesying, and then get rid of it as soon as she was done? And by the way, that would mean that men should all be bald!

The Greek has two different words for covering. The word "covered" in verse 6 is katakalupto. Katakalupto is defined as 1) to cover up 2) to veil or cover one's and is a verb. The word for "covering" in verse 15 is peribolaion. Peribolaion is defined as:1) a covering thrown around, a wrapper 1a) a mantle 1b) a veil and is a noun. We see from these definitions that the hair is to be a "wrapper" on the head, to cover the head and keep it from being bald. Then there is to be a covering which "covers up" the head. The Bible is talking about two separate coverings. Also, note that it says that the hair is A covering (as it is a noun), not the covering (which is the verb). If God was talking about long hair in verses 4-7, why didn't He say, "Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head...Every woman who prays or prophesies with short hair..."? Also, why would the length of hair be an issue only when praying or prophesying? How could a woman only have long hair when praying or prophesying?
The NIV's erroneous footnote would lead one to believe that the passage can be translated to mean long hair. The note reads:Or 4Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering [of hair] on her head dishonors her head – she is just like one of the "shorn women." 6If a woman has no covering, let her be for now with short hair, but since it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved, she should grow it again. 7A man ought not to have long hair...This sounds logical enough. However, let's look at it a bit. First of all, the "with long hair" in verse 4 could possibly be translated that way. The Greek word means "hanging down". But verse 7 cannot say "long hair". The Greek word is katakalupto, "to cover up." It is a different Greek word than in verse 4. Second, notice that even the NIV translators were honest enough to admit that they added the words "of hair" in verse 5. Without that addition, it says "...prays or prophesies with no covering on her head...". And by the way, if she has no covering of hair, she does not have short hair, she has NO HAIR! "Let her be for now with short hair" (verse 6) is not very accurate. Third, the footnote is not a literal translation. (Nor, by the way, is the NIV.) For example:
You cannot literally translate katakalupto to mean, "grow it (the hair) again" (verse 6). The correct reading is "let her be covered." "Let her be for now with short hair" (verse 6) is not correct. The word that, in the KJV, is translated "be shorn" is "A primary verb; to shear" (Strong's Greek Dictionary). It is a command to shear a woman who does not wear a headcovering, not a "It's that way now, so let it go" statement. "She is just like one of the ‘shorn women'" is not literal either. According to the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, the most literal reading is "for one it is and the same with having been shaven." When you depart from the literal meaning of the Bible, you can make it say anything you want if you just twist it enough.

We see from the above that long hair is not the covering. The Bible is talking about a physical cloth covering that goes OVER long hair. And the NIV footnote (actually, the whole NIV) is a twisted translation that changes the very words of the passage to make them say something else, and the bible has been altered anough by politics not to be altered AGAIN by bad translation.

How did the majority of Christian women come to stop wearing the veil?
During the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still had to wear a headcover in the churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women’s veils were not on the agenda.
The next day, the international press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women must still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil as out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.
Before the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their heads "...especially when they approach the holy table" (can.1262.2). But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process, mention of head coverings was omitted.
In 1970, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women’s veils. But at the time the missal was published, it didn’t seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even if it no longer had a "normative" value (Inter insigniores, # 4).
And mention in Canon law or the Roman Missal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition, for it is rooted in Scripture and has been practiced ever since the early Church. Indeed, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the real sources of Canon law are the Sacred Tradition, especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils, and Sacred Scripture (O.S.V. Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 169). Though the custom has generally lapsed in western cultures, particularly English-speaking nations, it is not erased entirely from the conscience of western Christians. For example; what's the first thing a Catholic mom does when her daughter is preparing for first communion and confirmation? She goes out and buys a veil. Likewise, what's one of the most important accessories to a bridal gown? Why it's the veil of course! Finally, when a baseball game or community event is opened in prayer, regardless of the religious denominations of those in attendance, what's the first thing everybody does? The men all remove their hats, and the women do not. Funny how that works, isn't it. This doesn't just happen by accident. It all goes back to the ancient Christian custom of veiling. Do Any Christian Women Today Cover Their Heads?
It is true that most Christian women do not, and many don't take other teachings of the Bible (against pre-marital sex, adultery, prayer, fasting, diet etc) literally either. However, there do seem to be a growing number of Christian women out there who are committed to following the Bible as it is written, and a few survving perservors of the fundamentals. My grandmother for one, always draped lace shawl over her hair before prayer, and always wore a headdress like above for special Church services and holidays with her hair covered, and on a day to day basis she always wore hats or silk scarves that covered her hair (though not always her neck and never her chest). Below are some webpages that one other sister found that call for Christian women to cover their heads in accordance with the commandment of the Bible. To those so-called Christian women who STILL think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: "Jesus is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Heb.13:8).
According to the Scriptures: Headcovering
Biblical Headcovering: The Scarf of Hidden Power
Christian Women's Headcovering Directory
Headcoverings and the Christian Woman
Is a Woman's Hair Her Only Covering?
Let Her Be Veiled
Modesty and Christian Living in the 90s
My Testimony Regarding the Headcovering
Nigerian Catholics told to be modest
No Such Custom?
On the Covering of Heads
She Maketh Herself Headcoverings
Should Christian Women Wear a Headcovering?
The Biblical Practice of Headcovering
The Christian Modesty
The Christian Veiling
The Headcoverings of Sisters
The Rites of Submission
The Significance of the Christian Woman's Veiling
The Veil
Women's Headcovering and the Glory of God

37 comments:

Majda said...

When I was Christian and a little girl, we used to attend this conservative church where all the women would cover their hair with at least a lace sheet. It wasn't mandatory and you wouldn't get kicked out if you didn't, but most of them did. My mom eventually decided to leave because she thought it was too fundamentalist and outdated. From then on we started going to non-denominational churches which were a lot more mainstream.


On an entirely different note, I noticed you have a link to Tahura.com on the side of your blog. Have you ever shopped there and can you possibly do a review?

Boxie said...

That was a long read. Good work.

srinivas said...

wonderful info sister!

you have given tonnes of info

btw, at lisa sister's blog you have used a word dunya - whats the meaning of the word? is it refers to world?

oflate, some of hindi / sanskrit words are used in english like karma. karma is a sanskrit word denoting for deeds - one would reap what he sows i.e., karma phala or gain of deed
hindi words originate from arabic / pharsee

[:)]

My prayers with almighty for your and your family's ever welfare

gurudEva dayaa karo deena jane

Candice said...

You say you wrote this up "to illustrate WHAT was revealed to the Jewish and Christian woman". If the revelatons had stayed exactly what they were at the time of their revelation, there would have been no need for the Qur'an.

All you can really do is use their scriptures and so on to make up your mind about what you believe they should be doing if they base their lives on this.

I'm finding your posts a little odd because you write this as though this is what you know to be the truth for the Christians and for the Jews in the other post. You write about what they are compelled to put on by their deen and the fard requirements on their hijab. Shouldn't Islam be the truth for *everyone*?

I only feel comfortable calling something "fard" with regards to religious matters if it comes directly from God.

Anonymous said...

I'm always a little surprise to read a Muslim quoting the Bible to make a point, knowing that they considere it flawed...
Anyway, I myself cover my hair for praying so I mostly agree with what you wrote :-).
The only things I want to add is that I don't feel oppressed because I have to submit to my husband (men and women have two different roles, it's what it's mean) After all, the husband has to love his wife as Christ love the Church. Quite a strong commend, eh, knowing Christ died for it? You don't oppress when you really love. And if you don't love, well, you have a problem with the Lord.
Also, I think that veil for a Christian is not for modesty issue because men do not fell over their head seeing a strand of hair.
Finally, I'm not a Catholic (never was) and Catholic are not the measuring stick of Christianity.
"Feminism" and "modernity" are what "killed" the veil in the Christian churches.
Have a good day, and nice blog!
Emma

OumAmir said...

Firstly, if you are going to quote me, I request that you do it accurately. I did not state that the coverings were merely “spiritual”. Reread my comments. I stated that the verses you quoted from the OT were not in a religious context.
Secondly, you did touch on a few accurate points (God’s created order as illustrated with the creation of Adam and Eve, the importance of gender roles), but your conclusion misses the mark.
In ancient Corinthian culture, a headcovering was a symbol of marriage, and of womanhood. Bear this in mind when reading the passage and ask the following questions:

1.) Why it is shameful for a man to wear a covering, but not a woman?
2.) If a man wears something that his culture identifies him as a woman, isn’t that a) shameful for him, and b) rebellious against God who created him as a man? What is the difference between a Dior skirt and a kilt?
3.) Likewise, if there is a cultural norm to cover one’s head as a symbol of a married woman and femininity, and a woman refuses to submit to this norm, isn’t she stating her rebellion against the God who created her as a woman? What is the difference between a Marine Corps high and tight, and a butch haircut?

When we view the passage in the cultural context of head covering for women in ancient Corinth, suddenly the entire passage is much clearer.

“Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God while refusing to acknowledge her role and place as designated by the One who created her?
Most biblical Christian women no longer wear headcoverings to church. This is not because the Pope said so or because we’re disobedient to God, but because headcovering no longer indicates martial status or a woman who submits to her husband in most western cultures. What biblical Christian women do is take their husbands’ last names, wear wedding rings, and encourage their husbands to lead the family spiritually.
For a solid exegesis of the text, I recommend Wayne Grudem's "Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth" which lays the text out in a contextual and consistent manner. http://www.monergism.com/Headcoverings%20by%20Wayne%20Grudem.html

♥Tiffany Nicole♥ said...

Great Post...So much going on here.1st I just love, love, love the 3rd picture down=)

I know our church (I'm a Pentecostal)teaches that a womans uncut hair is her covering like you said (we also believe only in one G*d unlike Catholic, just thought I'd mention that because your posts usually refer to the Catholic church but, I think you do that because of their overall influence on Christianity in general)but, G*d has laid it on my heart for the past 2 years ago to physically cover up my hair so I'm just going to have to what what I'm supposed to and really can't worry about what other people in my Church do in regards to that. I finally picked a date 6-1-09.

Since I pray at random throughout the day...I'm covered already literally & it keeps the guys from trying to "holla." Which I think is hilarious that there is a noticable difference in the looks I get since I cover up my body in modest clothes already, that one extra step makes even more of a difference difference=)

I'm happy that you wrote this post so people know that their are some Christians who do cover their hair some for prayer others modesty and some like me for both.

Long comment right?
Little Miss Chatterbox =)

Pixie said...

Majda: Tahura is a good company. Love their designs.

Pixie said...

Boxie: Jazzakallah kheiran.

Pixie said...

All: sorry I've taken so long on the comments.

Pixie said...

Gussy: LOL but I think your comment is bogus, he he he, no parent is too poor to give a baby a name, so no posty, but thanks for making me smile.

Pixie said...

Candice: agreed, on your first point, but the it came to be known to Christian and Jewish women that they were to cover their hair and it was well known and practiced until the last century here in the West. And thusd Muslims were commanded to draw their headresses to cover their breasts and to wear jilbab, both manner of dress to differentiate one's self from the Christians and the Jews. The Qu'ran is the truth for all peoples for all times, but those they deny the Qu'ran and the Messenger (The Jews who earnt the wrath of Allah and the Christians who went astray) have evidence in their own existing scripts that command them to cover their hair also. So this post is really useful for talking to non-muslim (so-called Christian or Jewish families) as to why their daughter (a Muslim) now where's hijab, and to show Muslims why they should be wearing their headcoverings in a certain manner, and why they should be wearing jilbab.

Pixie said...

Emma: we do (and history)consider the Bible flawed, but for thsoe who do follow it, they believe in it, and so they should also see that have reasons to cover too. I see a husband being head of me oppressive. Allah S.W.T is the only one I submit to. But I do believe men and women have different roles but that God made us equal before His blessed sight. Feminism did kill the veil, but that final announcement from the Catholic church was the final nail in the coffin for many, sadly. LOL Catholisim is filled wioth so many hypocrisies that I know it is no measuring stick for Isa's message but you have to remember it was Rome itself at the conference of Nicea that took Christianity widely over and made Jesus the son of God. Before that, to many people, as he remains to us, was merely a Prophet bearing the same message that Prophets bore before him.

Pixie said...

OumAmir: on the other page did you NOT say the coverings were of spirituality not clothing? Your points, really make no matter as tio what Paul said. He said that this was a practice recognized by the Church, and "the followers of Isa" and no other would be recognized. A woman who refuses to is being disobedient of what is praised, recommended, and stated to be the only recognized symbol of such in her own holy book.

Pixie said...

Tiffany Nicole: You are sooooo sweet. I love your chatter. If anyone gives you trouble, point out to them the differences in the greek, that the words have different meanings. It might be helpful. And you're so right how I refer to Catholicism, but the family that raised me (fostered) were Pentecostal so we've have the hair/headcovering discussion:D I love my other mother K. Love her sooo much. She is a better person than my mother and trying to follow the Bible exactly as it was meant and I think that is beautiful, even if I feel wary of the interpretation and accuracy of the content. it has made her a better person than non-practicing Muslims.

Amber said...

Another really great post Pixie, and thanks for giving me reason number 1,001 to despise the NIV translation.

Also, just to defend my newly Catholic self, I do believe that there is only one God. You can argue that I'm deluding myself, that the Trinity does not add up to three gods, and you may well be right, just for the sake of argument. I'm just saying - not a polytheist over here. Baring those branches of Christianity who don't believe in the Trinity, I think we're all on the same page there...

Pixie said...

Amber: LOL, yes if we could all read Hebrew and greek and latin, AND Arabic, our understanding of history would be more accurate.

♥Tiffany Nicole♥ said...

Thanks Pixie
Now I will be looking for the 1611version. I started reading the NIV because all of the thous & ye's had me like "Whats?" lol but, I see how things could have been lost in translation. Like your Mother K, I just follow the Bible to the best of my ability and don't doubt that things at some point or another have been lost in translation =( thats one reason I am so keen on learning things form Muslims and Jews alike. Sometimes it can clear up misinterpertations (spell check?) or even lead you in the right direction as far as figuring out cultural customs of the time and why certian things were done.

Catholics believe there is one God consisting of three distinct and equal divine Persons; Father, son and Holy Spirit.
I believe that G*d is One and fulfills those distinct roles.
I'm one person but, I am also a mother, sister and daughter but, that does not make me 3 distinct and seperate people. Thats all I was trying to say =)

controlled chaos said...

Salaam wa'alaikum
first time here. I really liked your layout its really serene (does that make sense?)
I really liked how you used all those pictures to show all the different "hijabs" :)

Pixie said...

Tiffany Nicole: but do you believe Jesus is the son of God instead of a Prophet?

Pixie said...

Controlled Chaos: salaam alaykom.

Amber said...

I'll leave off after this, since I have no desire to hijack Pixie's post.

Tiffany, "I believe that G*d is One and fulfills those distinct roles.
I'm one person but, I am also a mother, sister and daughter but, that does not make me 3 distinct and seperate people. Thats all I was trying to say =)"

The best part of this is, the first time I heard that exact explanation was from a Catholic, explaining the Trinity. I'm going to have to say, we're saying the same thing, just in slightly different ways. Unless, of course, I misunderstand and you don't believe that Christ was God, in which case we are on different pages.

My favorite explanation of the Trinity is this, however (in extreme brief) - One God: the Father who begets the Word who became incarnate, Jesus Christ and who sends his Spirit, His breath, upon us in the name of His Word. Inseparably One God, mysteriously in three persons. (I borrow this from Alana at Free to Cover, another blog.)

And to finish off, I am one Christian who believes it is quite clear we're called to cover our hair, and to dress modestly. I've been mistaken for a Muslim on occasion. :)

Anonymous said...

I am just wondering, Paul was referring to cultural norms in Corinthians - it is not normally IN CORINTH for men to have long hair and it is normal in Corinth for shamed women to have their heads shaved. But, does this one cultural prescription pretain to everyone? It is not shaming for a man in some cultures to have long hair or for women to have short hair...then, wouldn't doing the opposite actually be disobeying the norms that God placed on those people?

-Interested

♥Tiffany Nicole♥ said...

I have to say I am not eloquent with words like you Pixies so it takes me a min to figure out how to get across what I want to say so someone else will get it like I mean it...basically I'm not really good with words. I believe Jesus was G*d manifested in the flesh. So to answer your question Yes. Anywho, don't laugh (LOL) Wikepedia has a really easy explination I found.

The Father
The title of God in Parental Relationship.

The Son of God
The only-begotten Son of God, the One God incarnate in human flesh. "Son" refers to the either the humanity and the deity of Jesus together, or to the humanity alone, but never to the deity alone.

The Holy Spirit
The title of God in activity as Spirit.

I know you said you had been around Pentecostals but, here is the wiki link mabey if someone else wants to read about it =)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneness_Pentecostalism

Pixie said...

Interested: when reading the whole narration in context which I had not posted since there alot of references to Christ (which I do not believe in as a Muslim) the comment is directed at all Christians in address, not just the people of Corinth. You might want to read the beginning of Corinthians!:D

Pixie said...

srinvas: Dunya is the life on earth excluding the hereafter.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I think you did a lot of good research for this post. I don't cover full time as of yet, but its nice to see the many perspectives on covering in the monotheistic religions. Showing your modesty and submission to God is so important in a society that doesn't remember God anymore or denies his existence outright. Salaam Alaykum.

desertmonsoon said...

From what I understand Paul's letters to various Christian communities focused on issues in those communities. Christians were urged not to do things that would cause others to stumble or give a wrong impression of Christianity. They were supposed to be culturally sensitive (hence the debate over circumcision, eating meat sacrificed to idols, eating pork, etc., covering the head, etc.)

You cannot view the Bible or Christianity the way you view Islam because they are very different in their approach to religion. Christianity (if you look at the Bible) has a lot less fixed rules and rituals. There is more focus on purely spiritual life and less on physical laws to guide things like eating habits, dress, etc.

With regard to the passage about long hair being a shame for a man and short hair being a shame for a woman, I heard one explanantion once that said that the non Christian Corinthians followed a cult where the priests and priestesses of whatever god/ess they worshipped were temple prostitutes and that the men wore their hair long and the women cut their hair and this was the symbol of those people so he was urging Corinthians specifically not to be associated with that image.

There are good and bad things in the way almost all religions are observed by modern men. I would say though that the beauty of Christianity its flexibility when it comes to different cultures and changing times.

Oh, my family was very friendly with an Amish Family when I was younger. Amish women, as many of you know, wear some form of head covering at all times. This is because of their interpretation of the scriptures that tell them to cover their heads when praying combined with the one that says "pray without ceasing for this is the will of God" so they took that to mean that since they should always be in a prayerful spirit, their heads should also always be covered.

HeadCoverGirl said...

You wrote, "Ironically, during the crusades, Christian clothing and nun's habits were evolved to look more like a Muslim woman's, as they adopted our way of wearing the khimar, so that it covers the chest, though Christian women were only comanded to cover the hair." This is not correct to say that they imitated the clothing of a "Muslim woman" since robes and head coverings were and are very culturally bound to the Middle east and thus Christianity since its emergence. For 600 years Christianity thrived in the middle east and early Christian fathers wrote that Christian-virgins were covered and that this distinguished them from others. Tertullian (ca.160 – ca.220 AD) writes, "Throughout Greece, and certain of its barbaric provinces, the majority of Churches keep their virgins covered." So this was a practice long before Islam arrived on the scene. Also he writes that, "The pagan women of Arabia will be your judges. For they cover not only the head, but the face also. . . . But how severe a chastisement will they likewise deserve, who remain uncovered even during the recital of the Psalms and at any mention of the name of God? For even when they are about to spend time in prayer itself, they only place a fringe, tuft [of cloth], or any thread whatever on the crown of their heads. And they think that they are covered!" [Tertullian, The Veiling of Virgins The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 4 pp. 27-29,33]. Check out this blog for further early church father quotes, http://freetocover.blogspot.com/2009/02/early-church-fathers-quotesagain.html
I'm just trying to make the point that the pagan Arab women always covered their faces and head 400 years before Islam ever came to be so it is a cultural practice and not religious mandate since time began. In Islam, covering is mandatory while in Christianity the heart is what is most important, followed by a sense of modesty. I head cover fully because I love continuing the Christian tradition and out of reverence for God, but it is not a mandate as it is in Islam...nothing is mandated but belief in God and his son Jesus Christ. Also, Hebrew women veiled their faces as well, read the Old Testament for more information, so it's not only an Islamic-thing thing to be modest...people were very modest long before Islam's arrival. Sorry if this comes across as harsh I just thought I should correct you on this mistake in reasoning. God Bless, HCG

Anonymous said...

I was not saying that he was referring his words just to Corinthians but that he was basing the prescriptions on what he believed was human "nature," but which was culturally mediated - mainly, long hair is normal for women and short for men, but that would "naturally" not be true since only once a culture began cutting would length matter at all... I didn't mean that the prescriptions were only for Corinthians but that the instructions were coming from a particular cultural perspective.
-Interested

Pixie said...

Headcovergirl: I am not writing this from a Christian perspective but an Islamic one to correct Muslims in somsething they are doing wrong. I KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW Christian women covered their hair and wore loose modest dresses and robes and that pagan and Jewish women veiled completely. ANYONE who studies historical costume can figure this out. The true point of this post was not to dictate what Christians should wear since their obligations were corrupted in the belief of my own and Muslims---no offense intended--- the Bible was put together by men through different periods of history, but to show what was already a practice common to them, so that Muslims could see where we were directed to be specifically different (which was the covering of the chest and wearing an overgarment (not the modest clothing and mere headcovering which some Muslims believe is sufficient, not udnerstanding the history the chest coverage provided by the scarf and the overgarment came from). Before the crusades it was not actually common for married Christian women going out about on the street to have their chest covered by a headdress but it WAS common for them to have their hair covered---but during the crusades it became typical fashion because it was practical. It was a fashion that evolved from a Muslim one, which came from a previous MiddleEastern one but that we believe our religion tells us to be more specific about.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this article, and for your gracious manner of the sharing different views of head-covering.

The other day, I felt badly for not considering the practice of head-covering and presuming that I was free from it. I didn't want to hear that my Lord might really want me to be covered. How sad! How hypocritical of me. Would I want my children to copy me in that attitude?

So with my best friend, who is my husband, we read I Corinthians 11 (in the NIV which is not my favorite translation), and I was convicted by the same evidence that you gave. Even more I was troubled that in all my uncovered prayers, I was disregarding not only my Lord, but His angels. A mystery that can not be ignored even if I don't undertand the impact.

Here is another link I found helpful in the Christian understanding of head-covering; the footnote is important. Maybe you will like it as well:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx

Anonymous said...

Sorry about commenting so far away from the date of posting :)

I am a Catholic woman investigating dress and modesty to ponder how I should live to better give glory to God. I am also single, so it is particularly apparent to me that Christian women did not wear covering to show submission to all men, just submission to God and to her husband (if married) as we are only asked to submit to our husband, not all men. But there's also a point I think you missed: Paul said we are also supposed to cover because of the angels. I am not sure why exactly, but I think this must be a spiritual reason.

Peace!

Tece said...

I am striving to be a better Christian. Unfortunately 97% of American Christians do not wear a head covering, let alone live the laws given to them by God. If your clothing is a frame for your face, God is pleased with your clothing. If your clothing is a frame for your body, it is sensual and God hates the way you are dressing. This is true for everyone- both men and women!

Kiley said...

All I can say is thank you for sharing your wisdom on this issue.
I recently put many hours into the study of 1 Corinthians 11, which brought me to the knowledge that as a Christian wife I should be covering my head. Infact in your post you mentioned many truths about this topic that I know most Christian women dont even know about, so I commend you in that. Thank you very much! I hope more Christian and Jewish women learn to cover their heads, which I believe will bring more acceptance (and respect) for the modest dressing that the brave muslim women have been practicing all along.

EmStow said...

Wow.
Thank you so much for sharing this, and for bringing up what the Bible says about headcoverings. I'm absolutely in awe of the girls I know who wear hijab, and whenever I see them, I'm amazed at how beautiful it is to be modest! As a Christian, I never realized that the same standards applied to me until very recently.

Leesh said...

Dear Pixie,
I remember me and my friend were having the same discussion wheather christians have to cover their head or not and she - as someone who used to take relion very serious for a long term - was pretty sure that Christian women don't have to use a veil. So I tried to find something on the internet and I read oh so much essays of "experts" who said that we don't have to do it at all. But reading you essay, it makes perfectly sence why to cover our heads and makes me ashamed, facing that I didn't read the bible carefully enough.
Thank you for that. :)